Russo_Turisto wrote:No, I absolutely did not contradict myself. If my initial statement read "Nobody in School Days deserves any sort of sympathy except maybe Setsuna!", then it would be a contradiction to what I said further. But that was a question. I couldn't possibly ask if you or anyone else thinks that some characters deserve MY sympathy, because that would be simply ridiculous. I voiced my opinion and got other opinions going, which is a good thing, and it's been quite an enjoyable read.
Fair enough. I can agree with that.
Russo_Turisto wrote:I see where you're coming from in defence of Kotonoha, and I admit that what she had to endure was relatively hard, but I simply cannot feel sympathy for her, because the inability to face the real world and at least try to deal with your problems is something I feel very strongly about, and Kotonoha never really makes any attempt to do so, continuing to live in her own little dream world until the bitter end. This is not something I can get behind. Setsuna makes mistakes, acts somewhat selfishly and generally makes a poor judgment, but at least she DOES something. She tries. She falls and gets up. Kotonoha keeps on dreaming of knights on white horses.
I won't deny that Kotonoha has serious issues accepting reality; this is symptomatic of her deteriorating mental state. However, saying that she doesn't actually do
anything is a disservice to her character; she was fully prepared to dump Makoto until Sekai convinced her to give him another chance, and she repeatedly tried to stand up to the bullies that had been tormenting her for years
. The latter backfired horribly and only led to the bullying getting worse, but she tried to stand up for herself despite being grossly outnumbered
. Let's not forget that she confronted and slapped Sekai when she caught her leaving one of her and Makoto's trysts, and she threatened to reveal Setsuna's antics to Sekai (...Setsuna's preemptive counterattack irreparably wounded Kotonoha's psyche)
The only thing Kotonoha really should
have done but didn't
was confront Makoto about his infidelity; even if she couldn't convince him to change his ways, at least her mind would have been spared.
That, again, was all because she had faith in someone who didn't deserve it. Her delusions only began after her mental strength was giving out - note that idealization and fantasy are documented mental self-defense mechanisms and symptoms of mental disorders (link 1) (link 2).
I thought I told you not to resort to blame-the-victim tactics. We are shown throughout the series that both Kotonoha and Sekai are mentally ill; you're blaming Kotonoha for a tell-tale symptom of her mental condition.
Also, one of the reasons being bullied is so frustrating is that you feel helpless, like there's nothing you can do about it (I speak from experience). Kotonoha tried to stand up to Otome's gang, Sekai, and even Setsuna; most bullying victims would have simply given up and taken the abuse.
That takes some serious guts, and I won't let you claim otherwise.
On a tangentially-related note, I approve of the new "Nice Boat" ending specifically because it remained consistent with the deterioration of Kotonoha's mental health
; the producers could have easily gone for a source-material triple-whammy by having her commit suicide
as she did in the game, but that wouldn't have been consistent with her relative sanity at that point in the story. The anime-original ending is much more appropriate (denying both Sekai's pregnancy and Makoto's death, confirming that her idealization degraded into full-blown fantasy
Also, to be fair, Setsuna and Sekai both have their own problems with accepting reality: Sekai hopes in vain that Makoto will remain faithful to her even after she sees him and Otome together on videotape
, while Setsuna foolishly believes that offering her body to Makoto might actually convince him to keep it in his pants for Sekai's sake, her lampshaded ulterior motives notwithstanding
. Like I said before, I tip my hat to Otome for realizing that the nice guy she originally fell for and the philandering horndog she gave her virginity to are two very different people
. I don't like her for her antics throughout most of the series, but I have a small shred of respect for her for wising up in the end.
This is TDOMMX signing out.